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  Philosophy on Literature:

My philosophy is simple: modern literature, for the most part, pales in comparison to pre-twentieth century literature (both American and British), in terms of vocabulary, structure, depth of plot and/ or character, quality of story, and moral basis of story. 

My response to this issue is equally simple: young adults must not be coddled with "high-interest" reading about football stars and pop culture icons, literature that does little to challenge their minds. Therefore, I select grade appropriate yet challenging literature for SPS students, in the hopes that they will become lovers of classic literature as they grow into adulthood. 

The NEA released an important study in 2004, highlighting just how bad things have gotten for American children, in terms of them rarely being exposed to actual "literature." The study can be read in its entirety here.

7th and 8th L.A. Course Descriptions:

The Seventh and Eighth Grade English programs are designed to provide a solid foundation in the basics: writing, grammar, vocabulary, literary analysis & comprehension, and speech.

Students gain strength in vocabulary through the use of the Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Workshop text; it features 15 units (20 words per unit) of challenging exercises to help learn the definitions, know synonyms and antonyms, and use context clues to decipher unknown terms.

Various works of literature, including novels (see above), poetry, short stories, and non-fiction pieces will be covered in depth.

Following the completion of each literary unit, the students will compose an essay regarding some aspect of the text (persuasive, compare/ contrast, informational, and research).

In addition to composing essays, students are also required to conduct research during each literary unit; the research will cover background history or subjects related to the literary work being studied. The students then create and deliver formal speeches to the class on the given subject.

7th Grade Texts
The Call of the Wild - Jack LondonA tale of courage and bravery set in the Yukon, 1898.
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeline L'Engle 
A magical tale of time travel, beautiful and otherworldly creatures, and learning to see the good in everyone, including ourselves. 

Click here for a helpful novel study guide.
Click here for complete class study questions.
Treasure Island - Robert Louis StevensonAn adventure tale of life on the seas, battling pirates, and searching for treasure!

Click here for complete novel class study questions.

Click here for final essay rubric.
The Time Machine - H.G. WellsA science-fiction classic about a man who travels through time and gains a new understanding of humanity.

Click here for complete novel class study questions.
8th Grade Texts
Product DetailsFrankenstein - Mary ShelleyA psychological novel of the dangers of trying to bypass God's power to create life.
Homer - Ulysses (modern prose adaptation of "The Odyssey")The timeless story of a war hero and his tribulations experienced on his way home.
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper LeeA story of fighting against intolerance and growing into young adulthood.
The Pilgrim's Progress - John BunyanClassic tale of a Christian's struggles to reach Heaven.
"A Midsummer-Night's Dream" - William ShakespeareA comedic fantasy of love; a wonderful introdution to the world of Shakespeare!
The House of Seven Gables - Nathaniel HawthorneA classic tale about the sins of today haunting one's posterity!
"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," and other poetic works
In addition to Coleridge's "Rime" and "Gawain," students also study the works of Tennyson, Suckling, Frere, Wordsworth, and Cummings.

MLA Help Page

Find help with formatting your paper correctly, composing a proper Works Cited page, and more!

Screen cast on active & passive verbs:

Gerunds & Participles

Supplemental Materials on active & passive voice:
*Explanation page w/ practice sentences - click here.
*Further explanation and practice sentences w/ answer key - click here.

Screen cast on gerunds & participles:

Screen cast on Active & Passive Verbs

Supplemental Materials on gerunds & participles:
Helpful review pack from UHV w/ explanations and practice sentences - click here.
*Practice sentences w/ answer key - click here.

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